Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 April 2021
Taking as its starting point Rorty’s marked turn to the literary, this chapter focuses particularly on the philosopher’s key concept of “redemption.” A fascinating yet significantly undertheorized aspect of his late work, redemption for Rorty carries spiritual as well as secular significance. It relates to the power of the literary imagination and becomes increasingly important in his consideration of solidarity and social justice. We will explore the development of this concept in Rorty’s oeuvre with particular reference to John Boyne’s 2017 novel, The Heart’s Invisible Furies. Uniting the work of Rorty and Boyne, we will argue, is a critique of standard religious practice and an affirmation of the human as ultimately redemptive.